Biographic by Steve McGarry for July 30, 2006
Born in Winona Laura Horowitz on October 24, 1971, Winona Ryder was raised by her hippie parents in Petulma, California. Acting classes in San Francisco led to her screen debut in 1986's "Lucas" and a meteoric rise to stardom. While still in her teens she starred in a string of hit movies, from the offbeat "Beetlejuice" to "Edward Scissorhands" to the black comedy "Heathers" and the romantic Cher comedy "Mermaids." Box-office success was accompanied by critical acclaim, including two academy award nominations, for 1993's "The Age of Innocence" and 1994's "Little Women" but as the decade wore on, her career began to drift off course. She injured her back while filming "Alien: Resurrection," and the critically panned "Autumn In New York" was disappointing at the box office. On the plus side, she was the star and executive producer of "Girl, Interrupted" the movie that earned an Oscar for co-star Angelina Jolie. An infamous shopping expedition in late 2001 led to shoplifting charges, and the subsequent court appearances provoked scenes of media frenzy. Winona's arm was broken during one hectic media scuffle. Eventually, with her legal problems behind her she was able to resume her career bouncing back with the Adam Sandler box-office hit "Mr. Deeds" her latest releases the sci-fi thriller "A Scanner Darkly" casts her opposite Keanu Reeves and bodes well for the future.